Talk has focused on big gains for Republicans in the House and even the possibility of them capturing the Senate. Although polling was positive for most of the year and the Republicans winning the Senate, something happened in the summer: Democrats are gaining momentum.
Some Senate races are being affected by the Democratic summer surge. Conventional wisdom says that GOP candidates are “bad”. In my home state, Georgia, Herschel Walker, a football legend, is running a difficult campaign against Sen. Raphael Warnock. Walker is no stranger to trouble: Walker had mental health issues, a difficult marriage and children from extramarital relationships.
Heisman Trophy winner is open about most of these issues. He has managed to walk a fine line between Trump’s enthusiastic support and his accusation that he is Trump’s puppet. Walker wants to prove that his manhood is evident, which he began by changing his campaign earlier in the summer. Walker was unhappy with his campaign and has now replaced key members of his staff with fresh blood to help him run a more successful campaign.
Erick Erickson, a radio host, explained to Walker how he is changing his fortunes.
Similar events are happening in Pennsylvania with Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is currently facing Lt. Governor. John Fetterman. It is easy to argue Oz is a horrible candidate. His “crudite” video shows the TV doctor’s weaknesses.
Salena Zito, however, writes in the Washington Examiner about Fetterman’s focus on a social media strategy to fight Oz.
Fetterman’s U.S. Senate campaign has been a constant stream of snarky memes mocking Oz. He has rented planes to harass him on the New Jersey shore. He spends endless messages on vegetable trays and how many homes Oz has. Steven Van Zandt has even used his antics to mock him on Twitter. He likes to cuss and uses the poop emoticon.
It’s a sandbox Oz cannot compete in and should not. It is Fetterman’s playground and there are no upsides to getting down in the dirt alongside him, stated David Urban, a D.C.-based Republican strategist, and Beaver County native.
Oz is trying a new approach, visiting county fairs and shaking hands with voters. He is building a word of mouth campaign that will benefit him far more than a grocery-shopping clip ever could.
J.D. is one of the other candidates. Vance in Ohio, Blake Masters in Arizona both have uphill battles but they aren’t impossible.
However, it is not possible to assume that Democrats are able to win slam-dunk elections. Henry Olsen, a Washington Post columnist, reminded readers last week that, despite President Biden’s approval numbers and the Senate’s fate, Democrats are not guaranteed to keep it.
Olsen points to data that shows the president’s approval ratings are a significant factor in the performance and success of Senate candidates from his party. This is based on data from 2014 through 2020. Olson’s methodology is a little too simplified, but he says that the results should help Democrats temper their expectations.
It is clear that the fate of this year’s Democratic Senate nominees is tied to President Obama’s approval.
Olsen reminds his readers as well that Democrats were optimistic about tight Senate races in 2014.